Faith in 15

Beyond Forgiveness

March 29, 2021 First Baptist Church Carrollton Season 2021 Episode 314
Faith in 15
Beyond Forgiveness
Chapters
Faith in 15
Beyond Forgiveness
Mar 29, 2021 Season 2021 Episode 314
First Baptist Church Carrollton

Numbers 21:4-9

John 3:14-21

Outline

  • “Bad decisions” is an explanation of sin that works for children, but is inadequate for mature Christians.
  • Both Testaments speak to the seriousness of sin.
  • Forgiveness of sins is no small issue, but a relationship with Christ goes beyond forgiveness to deliverance.
  • The story in Numbers 21:4-9 combines several biblical images related to sin: serpents, death, deliverance.
  • In John 3:10-15, Jesus makes plain the connections in the story from Numbers.  Only now he tells us the full story: we are saved by a savior on a cross, not a serpent on a stick.
  • Anyone involved in a 12-step group recognizes we cannot save ourselves and need to be rescued from sin.  Those of us not in such a group can recognize the same need for rescue from sin’s power.

Other comments:

The idea for this sermon began as I noticed churches in impoverished areas with the word “deliverance” in their names.  There aren’t many suburban or upper-middle class churches where people think in terms of being delivered from sin. Forgiveness seems a much safer concept to us.

Perhaps impoverished people have less resources to throw at their problems.  They see their captivity to sin before we see ours.  This thought inspired the phrase “middle class misdemeanors” as our concept of sin. 

I’m indebted to The Crucifixion by Fleming Rutledge for a greater appreciation of Christ’s victory over the powers hostile to God.

Show Notes

Numbers 21:4-9

John 3:14-21

Outline

  • “Bad decisions” is an explanation of sin that works for children, but is inadequate for mature Christians.
  • Both Testaments speak to the seriousness of sin.
  • Forgiveness of sins is no small issue, but a relationship with Christ goes beyond forgiveness to deliverance.
  • The story in Numbers 21:4-9 combines several biblical images related to sin: serpents, death, deliverance.
  • In John 3:10-15, Jesus makes plain the connections in the story from Numbers.  Only now he tells us the full story: we are saved by a savior on a cross, not a serpent on a stick.
  • Anyone involved in a 12-step group recognizes we cannot save ourselves and need to be rescued from sin.  Those of us not in such a group can recognize the same need for rescue from sin’s power.

Other comments:

The idea for this sermon began as I noticed churches in impoverished areas with the word “deliverance” in their names.  There aren’t many suburban or upper-middle class churches where people think in terms of being delivered from sin. Forgiveness seems a much safer concept to us.

Perhaps impoverished people have less resources to throw at their problems.  They see their captivity to sin before we see ours.  This thought inspired the phrase “middle class misdemeanors” as our concept of sin. 

I’m indebted to The Crucifixion by Fleming Rutledge for a greater appreciation of Christ’s victory over the powers hostile to God.